Human arms race
A human arms race is underway. If human history could be described as one big roller-coaster ride of technology inventions then human gene editing could be the latest roller-coaster ride of the fourth industrial revolution.
Scientists now believe that they have cracked the genetic-code to engineering virus-resistant humans with super intelligent.
Science fiction has become a reality, superhumans engineered in a laboratory and it could spark a human arms race, a genetic arms race
The first superhumans with resistance to diseases and supercharged brains have already been engineered and it is not where you think.
In a controversial experiment led by Chinese scientist He Jiankui, the embryos of seven couples had their genes “edited” using a tool known as CRISPR.
A gene called CCR5 was then deleted and that created a natural immunity to HIV, which requires CCR5 to enter blood cells. The first twins were also gene-edited for resistance to age-related cognitive disease such as Alzheimer’s.
Here comes the zinger which could trigger a human arms race
China’s CRISPR twins might have had their brains inadvertently enhanced, reports MIT Technology Review.
The controversial gene-editing experiment to make children resistant to HIV may have also enhanced their ability to learn and form memories.
In other words, Chinese scientists could have cracked the genetic-code to engineering super-humans with enhanced cognitive abilities and thereby better equipped to participate in the fourth industrial revolution.
Could gene editing technology take center stage in a human arms race?
“Deletion of a gene CCR5, not only makes mice smarter but also improves human brain recovery after stroke, and could be linked to greater success in school,” writes MIT Technology.
Alcino J. Silva, a neurobiologist at the University of California, Los Angeles also agrees.
“The answer is likely yes, it did affect their brains,” says Alcino J. Silva whose lab uncovered a major new role for the CCR5 gene in memory and the brain’s ability to form new connections.
“The simplest interpretation is that those mutations will probably have an impact on cognitive function in the twins,” says Silva. However, he says the exact effect on the girls’ cognition is impossible to predict, and “that is why it should not be done.”
Gene editing technology to create super-humans could spur on a human arms race between the world’s economic heavyweights, US-China, with unknown consequences
Technology is a double- edged sword with favorable and unfavorable consequences.
Tampering with the genetic code of human life is a venture into the great unknown.
The Chinese scientist, He Jiankui (no doubt government funded) who pioneered the genes editing experiment of the two twin girls is now missing or in hiding.
He Jiankui was last seen in late November 2018 in Hong Kong at the second international summit on human genome editing. He has not been seen since.
The experiment has been widely condemned as irresponsible, and the baby scientist is under investigation in China.
The human arms race genie is out of the bottle, it could already be too late
Think of how technology-enabled business outcompete and decimate their rivals. From retail to investing and all in between those businesses that deploy and leverage cutting edge technology, whether it be in artificial intelligence, robotics, and data mining are not only surviving a challenging business landscape but are actually thriving.
Creative destruction fuels economic prosperity. Businesses that don’t rise to the technical challenges will lose out to rivals that are able to evolve with the fourth industrial revolution. Only 60 companies were in the fortune 500 in both 1955 and 2017.
From a macro level human (intelligence) capital is the most valuable natural resource in the technological digital revolution.
“Whoever leads in AI will rule the world”, Russian leader Vladimir Putin
China is dominating artificial intelligence with 85% of Chinese companies being active players in the field of AI. These companies have been successful in deploying AI into some existing process.
China’s New Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan introduced in 2017 has been a success.
A human arms race would rocket propel version two AI to an even higher dimension
What would happen if country X were to employ scientists, engineers with genetically engineered supercharged brains to build the latest version of AI?
China could also be winning the human arms race too. Beijing Genomics Institute became the world’s largest gene sequencer.
But it is not only US-China rivalry for world domination which could fuel a human arms race.
Silicon Valley’s well-heeled types could also have an unhealthy obsession with creating a superhuman resistant to age/related cognitive diseases with supercharged brains
Silicon Valley millionaire Serge Faguet spent 250,000 USD to turn himself into a superman. But Faguet is still paying for intimacy. Faguet says he prefers to “hire sugar-baby-models for sex”.
“People will be upset by the fact that the world will be run by a small number of superhumans, who will upgrade themselves” said the Silicon Valley millionaire.
So a human arms race could create a biological genetic divide of haves and have nots, assuming those upgrades are not free.